7 Common Door Problems

It seems like minor inconveniences like door problems plague old houses just as much as it does with newer homes.  While door problems seem to be inconsequential, these issues are frustrating to day-to-day life in your home.  Some of these common door problems can be a sign of a separate issue in your home that will require your attention, too.

Door problems can be fixed easily, even if you don’t consider yourself handy with tools.  Once you can find the root cause of these issues, the solution can be as simple as replacing a few parts or rehanging the door.

common door problems


1. Your Door Refuses to Stay Latched

A common problem of a door refusing to latch can usually be blamed on the strike plate mechanism.  An easy fix begins with a quick, close-up analysis of how the door latch is hitting the strike plate.

Watch how the latch grazes against the strike plate and see if the plate needs to be moved up or down accordingly.  If you can’t tell from the angle, then a neat trick is to coat the latch with something that can be wiped off later, like lipstick.  This way, you can see exactly where the strike plate needs to be.

If you moved the plate and the door is still not latching, then you might need to break out the heavier tools—and by heavier, we’re talking about a small file or a rotary tool attached with a bit that can grind metal.  By enlarging the strike plate, you can make enough room to accommodate the latch.

2. Your Door Feels Drafty

Are you feeling a cold draft?  Your door could be the culprit, and perhaps its worn weatherstripping is, too.  Replacing your weatherstripping is a quick and easy project that requires a trip to the hardware store. You need the appropriate type of material, a bit of measuring, cutting to adjust, and as soon as you know it, your door is equipped with brand new weather-protecting seals.

Weatherstripping can also aid in energy conservation in individual rooms and is especially helpful for exterior doors. You might want to double-check how the door is placed against its frame because if it isn’t flush, the cold air has a passageway to seep through.  If this is what’s happening, then the fix lies in rehanging the door, which can be done by removing the door’s hardware and readjusting it against the frame.

3. Your Door is Squeaking

A squeaking door can wake up a house full of sleeping people.  The trick in getting your door to quiet down is with a can of lubricating oil, a product that can be found at any of your local hardware stores.

You may need to take out the door pins with a hammer and coat the shafts down with oil as well.  You can apply wax, grease, or even cooking oil to stop the squeaking.  Make this chore a part of your routine home checklist and you won’t be bothered by a squeaky door again.

white entry door

4. Your Door is Sticking

A sticking door is a frequent and annoying occurrence in homes and albeit.  There are a few reasons why your door is sticking one being that the hinges are dirty from years of debris and wear.  Get out your cleaner and a can of WD-40 and work over the door’s hardware until it shines once again.  This should solve any sticking issues your door was experiencing.

If your hinges are already clean then the reason behind a sticking door could be the doorjamb.  By taking a long screw into the latch side of the door and into the frame, you can draw in the jamb to allow for some wiggle room so the door stops sticking.

5. Your Door is Rattling

Essentially, there are three typical reasons as to why your door is rattling.  The strike plate may be recessed, the latching mechanism is not aligned, or the strike plate requires resetting.

First, the strike plate becomes recessed when you can’t make up your mind about what color to stick with and many layers of paint throw it off balance.  An easy solution is to remove it, using cardboard shims to make it flush with the jamb.

Second, a misaligned latch bolt can be blamed for your door’s annoying rattling sound and can be resolved by filing the strike plate.  Third, if neither of the two actions quiets down your door, then try moving the entire strike plate.  Use a knife and chisel, then drill pilot holes to reattach the plate.  Clean it up with wood putty, sanding the area smooth.

6. Your Door Swings and Won’t Remain Open

If this problem sounds familiar to you, then it could mean that your door is out of plumb in its opening and needs to be corrected.  Again, this is an easy fix that requires a shim to resolve the issue at hand.  The shim should be inserted between the back of the door hinge and the jamb.  The hinge in question is usually the bottom-most one.

At this point, all you have to do is loosen the screws that are attached to the hinge, allowing you room to insert the shim in between.  You may need to loosen the screws nearly all the way.  For the shim itself, you can use a wooden shim or a small piece of laminate, placing it behind the hinge, and then retightening the screws.

Test the door and see if it swings correctly, adjusting the thickness and placement of the shim if necessary.  You can also add a shim to the center hinge if required.

7. Your Door Hits the Wall

There’s nothing more frustrating then when a door slams into a wall and makes a gaping hole in it.  Reckless doors like this mean repairing the damage left in its wake as well as ensuring that the door doesn’t violently bash your wall up once again.

The fix is merely a doorstop, available in three different styles for your choosing.  There’s the doorstop that resembles a metal shaft with a rubber cap on the end which can be flexible or unmoving (the kind you’ve likely played with as a kid to make the irresistible boing).  There’s also a hinge stop that can force the door to stop before it makes contact with the wall. Lastly, there’s a floor stop, the most durable of the bunch.

opened door with the key inside

Keeping Your Doors in Check

The truth of the matter is that you can’t own a home without eventually experiencing one of these door problems.  Luckily, the most common door problems can be fixed in a pinch, with minimum tools and experience.  By doing a routine check of your doors, both interior, and exterior, you can keep ahead of these widely experienced door problems, like maintaining clean and functional hardware.

However, if you are constantly experiencing severe door issues, it could be your house trying to convey there is a deeper issue at hand.  A foundational issue can express itself in these door problems, and while this isn’t always the case, it is certainly something to keep in the back of your mind.

All-In-One Solution

Time to face the reality, if your entry, patio and screen doors are undergoing common door problems then it’s time to get replacements as soon as possible. Home improvement can uplift the value of your home and you’ll notice a big difference in energy efficiency, durability, and security when you replace your doors with Feldco.

We’ve served over 350,000 homeowners across the Midwest and we’re happy to serve many customers located in Rockford. Our great products and prices, local service and professional installation are what makes us the best home improvement company in the Midwest. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote today.

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